It’s likely, Denver and Milwaukee have never been associated with the “ends of the Earth.”
But that was before the webcasting.
The powerful move of God that took place over the past two weekends in these two metropolitan American cities doubled as the epicenter of a global outreach happening in all 24 time zones on the planet.
“I am in Bogota, Colombia, praying for all of you,” Mikael posted on the Rock the Range webstream Sunday night.
While Rock the Range and Rock the Lakes captured the attention of two specific U.S. cities, viewers from around the globe watched a live webstream, hosted by Ransom.TV and BillyGraham.org.
“I’m tuning in from Newfoundland,” Joshua posted.
The unlimited reach, via streaming technology, is about as impressive as the Rock the Range turnout this weekend: Over 28,000 in total attendance and hundreds of commitments to Christ in each of three separate events geared toward children, youth and families.
And that’s before factoring in the online impact.
“Watching from Iceland,” Petur posted.
“It’s amazing,” said Stevie VanDusen, managing director of video media services at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assocation. “Amazing to take what was on the stage here in Denver and broadcast it all around the world and the amount of decisions that were made from that. Just amazing.”
Over the past two weekends, hundreds made decisions while watching the live webstream, clicking through to PeaceWithGod.net, a new BGEA online evangelism site.
“Watching from Trinidad, West Indies. Praise God for the Internet!” Brenda posted.
Praise God, indeed.
On Saturday alone, web visitors came from several countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, Ukraine, New Zealand, Italy, Peru, Iceland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Slovenia, Colombia, Philippines, El Salvador and Fiji.
“Portugal here. God Bless,” Rui posted.
At the Milwaukee event, 19 time zones watched the webcast on Sunday while Saturday’s program was viewed in all 24 time zones. There were 21 time zones represented this past Saturday.
“Slovakia,” Vladimir chimed in.
“Italy here,” Christian posted.
Logistically-speaking, a webstream takes a separate team of producers to manage. During some of the broadcast, the feed will duplicate what is shown on big screens at the venue, but during set changes, web viewers are treated to testimonies, videos and lively chatter from on-site web hosts.
“Usually they have to change the stage in between bands and instead of going dark, we stay live,” said web director Randy Hill. “The hosts will do a recap of what just happened. They may say, ‘Franklin Graham just gave a message and we want to give you a chance to accept Christ by clicking on our website.'”
“God has amazing grace. Tried suicide like six times and I am still here. Love GOD,” Lawrence posted.
“We had people asking questions on Facebook and we answered some of those,” Hill said. “Franklin answered some. It’s pretty exciting.”
“I respect very much what F. Graham has allowed God to do through him,” Cory posted.
On Saturday, over 18,000 came as Franklin Graham spoke three times in between The Almost, The Afters, Flyleaf’s Lacey Strum, Lecrae and Skillet providing the evening’s “Rock.” On the final invitation, Graham asked anyone who prayed to receive Christ to hold up their cell phone so a counselor could find them.
“The whole world is checking in. Wow! This is cool.” Ormi posted.
Sunday’s event featured musical guests The Afters and Michael W. Smith.
Dominiek posted: “Nice concert Michael … thanks for the live free streaming … love from Belgium!”
Feeding on Follow-Up
Calvary Chapel Aurora, one of the churches heavily involved in Rock the Range, hosted a Christian Life & Witness Class and Jeffery Aguilar jumped at the chance to take it.
And after a weekend of counseling all different ages, he’s so glad he did.
“The training they gave us was really cool,” Aguilar said. “And very helpful.”
On Sunday night, with a crowd estimated at 8,000, Aguilar was humbled to have the opportunity to lead a man named Josh and his wife to a rededication to Christ.
“It’s a pretty exciting experience,” Aguilar said. “It never ceases to amaze me, when the Spirit is at work, the harvest is there.”
For Aguilar, what really gets his engine revved up is the opportunity for follow-up and discipleship.
“What’s so cool about this is there’s a system in place for follow-up, but we have to do our part,” he said. “That’s why this follow-up is so important. We’re going to make sure they get prayed up, get involved in a church or get involved in a Bible study.”
Denver is not the Bible belt. It’s estimated only 13 percent of the population attends church. But the fact that over 28,000 people flocked to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, with a significant response to receive Christ, showed that God can move wherever there is a commitment by the local church to pray and get involved.
“It’s a fabulous deal to get the Christians of the community to cooperate together,” said Daivd Bandimere, Rock the Range’s committee chairman. “It shows that there’s enough of a Christian community that really cares about folks coming to know the Lord.”
Bandimere is prayerful that Rock the Range is just the start of a revival in the Mile High City, with more churches working together and new believers getting plugged into the local church.
“Hopefully, they’ll get involved and get discipled,” he said, “and we’ll see some significant change in their lives.“